Improving your diet and lead a more fit and healthy lifestyle by eating right with color.
During National Nutrition Month® 2011 and Beyond, American Dietetic Association Encourages Everyone to 'Eat Right With Color' - Month-long campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
As trends continue to indicate Americans are interested in improving their diets and leading more healthful lifestyles, the American Dietetic Association reminds everyone that an easy way to focus on eating better is to "Eat Right with Color," which is this year's theme of National Nutrition Month®. Each March, ADA focuses attention on returning to the basics of healthy eating. This year's National Nutrition Month theme encourages consumers to remember to include a colorful variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy on their plates every day.
"The American Dietetic Association is committed to improving the nation's health, and one of the ways we do this is by providing science-based nutrition information to consumers in a way that's easy to understand and apply to their everyday lives," said registered dietitian and ADA President Judith C. Rodriguez. "National Nutrition Month offers a great opportunity to focus people's attention on a universal theme that cuts through the clutter of information and gets back to the principles of a healthful diet."
"Adding a splash of colorful seasonal foods to your plate makes for more than just a festive meal. A rainbow of foods creates a palette of nutrients, each with a different bundle of potential benefits for a healthful eating plan," says registered dietitian and ADA Spokesperson Karen Ansel.
"Food variety supplies different nutrients, so to maximize the nutritional value of your meal, include healthful choices in a variety of colors," says Ansel.
Ansel offers ways to brighten up your plate with this quick color guide:
Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risks. Fruits include avocados, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwis and limes. Vegetables include artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens such as spinach.
Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables have nutrients that promote healthy vision and immunity and reduce cancer risks. Fruits include apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mangoes, papaya, peaches and pineapples. Vegetables include carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn and sweet potatoes.
Purple and blue options may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health and reduced cancer risks. Fruits include blackberries, blueberries, plums and raisins. Vegetables include eggplant, purple cabbage and purple-fleshed potatoes.
Red produce may help maintain a healthy heart, vision and immunity and may reduce cancer risks. Fruits include cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grapefruit, red grapes and watermelon. Vegetables include beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes.
White, tan and brown foods sometimes contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks. Fruits include bananas, brown pears, dates and white peaches. Vegetables include cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potatoes and white corn.
Ansel also reminds Americans to include a variety of colorful whole grains, lean meats and fish and low-fat and fat-free dairy with your meals. "Food variety supplies different nutrients, so to maximize the nutritional value of your meal, include healthful choices in a variety of colors."
Initiated in 1973 as a week-long event, "National Nutrition Week" became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition. Additionally, to commemorate the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world, the second Wednesday of March has been designated "Registered Dietitian Day." This year marks the fourth annual Registered Dietitian Day.
The American Dietetic Association is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org